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Ford Introduces New Super Duty F-Series Class A Motorhome Chassis

2 December 1997

Ford Introduces New Super Duty F-Series Class A Motorhome Chassis

    LOUISVILLE, Ky., Dec. 2 -- In a move to expand its leadership
in the motorhome chassis market, Ford Motor Company today introduced
a completely redesigned Class A motorhome chassis.  The new chassis includes
the first V-10 engine offered in a Class A motorhome.
    Ford introduced its 1999-model Super Duty F-Series Class A Motorhome
Chassis at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association Show (RVIA) and
announced that its 275-horsepower, 6.8-liter Triton(TM) V-10 engine will be
standard equipment on the new chassis, which goes into production in January.
The chassis is a derivative of Ford's new Super Duty F-Series line of trucks,
which go on sale in early March.
    "Our research shows that motorhome drivers want increased horsepower,
improved handling and better performance," said Jerry Mittman, Ford recreation
and special vehicle sales manager.  "In response, we're offering the
Triton(TM) V-10 engine, which delivers 11 percent more horsepower and more
torque at highway speeds for improved driving performance."
    Ford's Triton(TM) V-10, introduced as an option on the 1997-model Ford
Econoline van and Class C Econoline RV Cutaway Chassis, replaces the 7.5-liter
V-8 available in its previous Class A motorhome chassis.  The advanced V-10
engine produces 90 percent of engine torque at or below 2000 rpm for improved
driveability and towing capability and offers improved fuel economy.
    Ford's research also shows that customers want higher gross vehicle weight
ratings (GVWR), due to expanded offerings by motorhome builders.  Responding
to customer feedback, Ford has increased its offerings to include an all-new
chassis entry at 20,500 lbs. GVWR.
    The improved GVWR allows builders to better match motorhome body
requirements to chassis weight carrying ability.  Ford's new Class A chassis
offerings include:

    *  15,500 lbs. (increased from 15,200 lbs.)
    *  18,000 lbs. (increased from 17,000 lbs.)
    *  20,500 lbs. (all-new entry)

    The gross combination weight rating (GCWR) also has increased to
26,000 lbs., a 1,000 lb. increase over the 1997 chassis.
    "As motorhome builders continue to build bigger units and more slide-outs,
they need a chassis capable of handling the increased gross vehicle weight,"
said David Ford, engineering director, Ford Advanced Vehicle Technology.
"We're stepping up to meet market demands."
    "The trend in the RV business is not just for bigger, but for more
versatile motorhomes," Ford added.  "Our new chassis is well suited to meet
and exceed the demands of today's customer, from best-in-class towing
capability to a more rigid frame and a wider stance that facilitates wider
bodies and slide-outs."
    Ford's new chassis also comes equipped with larger wheels and tires.
Wheel size has been increased from 16 inches to 19.5 inches.  The new low-
profile, metric radial tires enable drivers to maximize pavement contact for
improved traction while handling larger payloads.
    The chassis also has been enhanced with a wider track to improve ride
control and handling, accommodating the growing number of wide-body and slide-
out models offered by coach builders.
    In addition, Ford has equipped its 1999-model chassis with new front-and-
rear power disc brakes and a four-wheel (3-channel) anti-lock brake system
(ABS), which combine to provide steady consistent braking performance.
Braking is enhanced with a larger master cylinder design, and boost ratios
have been increased to provide improved brake pedal feel and performance and
lower braking efforts.
    A new 4R100 overdrive automatic transmission provides enhanced electronic
controls, which improve shift scheduling and shift feel.  Transmission
durability and reliability upgrades include:

    *  High capacity cooler with larger coolant lines
    *  Improved lubrication
    *  Improved contamination protection
    *  Added torque load capacity

    The new chassis offers a front gross axle weight rating (GAWR) of 7,000
lbs. (on the 18,000 lb. and 20,500 lb. chassis) and a rear axle rating of
13,500 lbs. (20,500 lb. chassis).  With the increased front and rear axle
capacity, motorhome manufacturers are able to offer more diverse floor plans
to the customer.
    Ford's new Class A Motorhome Chassis is a derivative of the recently
introduced 1999-model Super Duty F-Series line of trucks, which includes the
F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 models.  The new Super Duty trucks are
completely redesigned full-size work and heavy-duty recreational trucks,
developed and built on a different platform from the under-8,500-pound (GVW)
Ford F-150 and F-250.
    Production of Ford's 1999-model Super Duty Class A Motorhome Chassis will
begin January 5, 1998.  Motorhomes built on the chassis will be available for
sale in late February or early March.

SOURCE  Ford Motor Company